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Pakistani journalism

unnamed (1)The so-called independent journalism in Pakistan has created a havoc in the country, particularly the electronic anchors. The main reason is illiteracy. The print media has a reach only to the educated section of the society, the masses tune their ears to the TV.

Unfortunately, very few anchors deserve to be called as the journalists. The rest is paid to create sensationalism by journalistic adventurism. Neither they are bound by a code of conduct and ethics nor they are under oath to speak the truth nothing but the truth. The rabid elephant has no definite limits or guidelines. Some of them are no more than paid jugglers. The sacred profession is being raped in the name of free journalism. It is a human nature to abuse anything that is acquired without struggle and sacrifices. F. M. Ayub took the freedom, Zia gave it back as a gift.

Pakistan is sunk in problems and is struggling for survival while all the pillars of the state are fighting for hegemony and are diagonally opposite to each other. There is no place to give the benefit of a doubt to anyone. The only change that is visible that the institution yielding power has changed the shoulders, instead of politicians the shoulders of the jurists are being used.

With few exceptions, everyone is working for someone. Some of the analysts are members of political parties with rigid ideas. To have political views or affiliation is not a forbidden fruit, but to be a spokesman of an organization is dishonesty in fair journalism. They lack tolerance and if questioned or opposed, they blow off their skull and never hesitate to resort to personal attacks. It is self-worshipping and forbidden in Islam.

The anchors have adopted space saving technique in journalism. They have squeezed the size of Pakistan only to three cities, Islam Abad, Lahore and Karachi. The tip of their nose ends there. They are least aware of the rest of the country.

It is inculcated in their mind that intellectualism and wisdom can only grow in these cities. The rest is a barren land good for strategical depth, otherwise of no use. The problem of Khyber pass is discussed by the intellectuals of these three cities. This treatment is extended to interior Sind, Baluchistan, KPK, and FATA. I presume that since we are dependent on the industrial and agricultural produce of these areas, so in their view for the solution of our own problems we also need the intellect of these areas. Generally called Ashrafia.

Their political forums are anti-federal, anti-democratic and show their contempt for the rest of the country. They are so empty about history to realize, that while the other nations were toddlers we Pakhtoon had an empire. Our forefathers did not build glass palaces or tombs in the memory of their beloved but roads and the postal system was their contribution.

Probably they are following the footprints of their overseas masters and tagging the human brain and blood with different prices according to race and religion. A drop of human blood is more sacred than the sanctity of Holy Kaaba. As a human being and Muslim, this is our faith. But the coverage given to the rescue of a buffalo from a trench in Punjab receives more coverage than the deaths of human beings in KPK and FATA. About Baluchistan massacre, they are mum. The disappearance of the political worker and their tortured dead bodies, neither needs TV coverage nor suo moto action. It is highly painful and show the caliber of our self-proclaimed intellectuals.

Where ever human blood drops, that should be the center of the universe, irrespective of race, religion, class, creed and color. The loss of our national status in the international community is the result of our inhuman attitude. God deprives those who have no moral value. Before asking others to respect, we should learn how to earn respect others.

Ghamdi is right to say that our sorry state of affair is not due to American or Russians. The cause lies with us, we have departed from our religious, moral values so the mantle of leadership has been transferred to those fitter than us. God does not give the leadership of humanity to the inhuman flock. He is the lord of the universe and humanity, not only Muslims.

We need nation building. The root cause of our political, economic and social ills, lies in the national sickness. We have an identity crisis unless we have a respectable identity we cannot get out of this mess. We are deep down up to our brows in our own created filth. It is the time we have sensible political forums run by men of words, learned and now- prejudice liberal anchors. To me, a sick government or the state is less important than a sick nation.

I was asked by a British diplomat who is a journalist, if I can help her in providing information and suggestions about the reorganization of police in KPK and FATA to make them citizens friendly, provide protection and restore the trust of the public. I gladly agreed but told her that she has embarked on a very difficult mission. It is equal to nation building. I am a follower of a Mahatma (Bacha Khan) but not Mahatma myself. You should start your mission with a clear idea that you are just one of the contributor and not to expect change. KPK police is considered the best out of all, but not ideal. I told her she will be shocked if happens to see other provinces.

It is also the duty of our local rich class, who have the resources to think about it, to counter the venom of the adversaries we must have our own electronic press. Our rich class must come forward to invest in electronic media..We must uphold our principles, that we will never devalue human values. Self-defense is everyone’s right, but not filth slinging. The deeper and long-running historical roots of a nation, the richer and calmer is he, like an ocean. The noise of a river shows its shallowness. The taller the mountain the difficult to capture its peak. Mother nature has a lot to teach us, but if we have the wisdom to think over it.

Pashtun is the biggest community in the world, having no voice of our own. We are answerable for our silence, not what others say about us. Having no press of our own, our history is distorted and nation is unaware what is happening around. Our language, history is banned in school and colleges in Pakistan. Cultural shows do not leave as much impact as one would expect. Even  in Afghanistan Pashto is not given due status. National, lingual and cultural cohesion is not possible without having our own electronics and printing press. Writers, artists and musicians are economically in a miserable state. They play a great role in the national awakening, but at the cost of hunger. It is distressing if a writer publishes his book; he has to distribute free of cost as there are no buyers. The artist and musician facing the same problem

This very reason is responsible for down going graph of national awakening as the workers can’t reach the public.

Writer: Prof.(Dr) Khurshid Alam

The writer is a columnist with THE PASHTUN TIMES. He can be reached at 



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